Trump warns Kim Jong-un he could end up like Gaddafi unless he makes nuclear deal

The US President contradicted his national security adviser, saying the so-called "Libya model" for denuclearisation is not being pursued with North Korea

 The ‘Libya model’ John Bolton was referring to was Gaddafi’s agreement to surrender his nuclear weapons in 2003. (Photo: The Guardian)
The ‘Libya model’ John Bolton was referring to was Gaddafi’s agreement to surrender his nuclear weapons in 2003. (Photo: The Guardian)

Donald Trump has warned Kim Jong-un that North Korea will face the same fate as Muammar Gaddafi if it “doesn’t make a deal” on his nuclear weapons programme.

In comments to reporters that initially appeared designed to reassure Kim, amid reports of potential brinksmanship from North Korea, the US president said his safety would be reassured and that he would remain in control of his country, following any deal with Washington.

He then followed his comment by suggesting if a deal was not forthcoming, the North Korean leader might be treated much more harshly.

The US president issued the threat at the White House when he was asked about the recent suggestion by his national security adviser, John Bolton, that the “Libyan model” be a template for dealing with North Korea at a summit between Trump and Kim planned for 12 June in Singapore.

“The Libyan model was a much different model. We decimated that country. We never said to Gaddafi, ‘Oh, we're going to give you protection’,” he said. “We went in and decimated him, and we did the same thing with Iraq.”

“We’re willing to do a lot, and he’s willing … to do a lot also, and I think we’ll actually have a good relationship, assuming we have the meeting and assuming something comes of it. And he’ll get protections that will be very strong.”

Trump’s comments came after North Korea abruptly pulled out of a meeting planned for Wednesday with South Korea, and suggested it may also not participate in the summit with Trump, scheduled to take place in Singapore on 12 June.

North Korea claimed it was angered over a joint US-South Korea military exercise, but some observers suggested Pyongyang was returning to the kind of diplomacy it had displayed before at the time of other proposed talks.

A statement published by the state-run Korea Central News Agency, said North Korea would never accept economic assistance from the US in exchange for unilaterally abandoning its nuclear programme.

However, Trump said that despite Pyongyang’s threats to call off the summit, “they’ve been negotiating like nothing happened”.

The state department spokeswoman, Heather Nauert, said: “We are continuing to push ahead and plan our preparations. Those continue at this time for a meeting between the president and Kim Jong-un in June.”

More in World